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Virginia Eastern Shore residents weigh in on sea level rise impacts

Accomack residents weighed in recently about the impact sea level rise is having on their lives. The Eastern Shore of Virginia lies in one of the nation's most vulnerable coastal regions, where scientists say sea levels are rising at three to four times the global average and storms are intensifying.

Accomack residents weighed in recently about the impact sea level rise is having on their lives.

The Eastern Shore of Virginia lies in one of the nation's most vulnerable coastal regions, where scientists say sea levels are rising at three to four times the global average and storms are intensifying.

Some 33 miles of roads, mostly in northern Accomack, could be permanently flooded sometime between 2025 and 2050 with one foot of sea level rise — and 25 percent of all roads could be impassable as soon as 2090, according to a 2015 study.

Seven communities could be inaccessible by road as soon as 2025, according to the report by the Accomack-Northampton Planning District Commission.

That vulnerability makes the Shore a good place for scientists to study ways nature-based solutions can help communities be resilient in the face of climate change.

"We have one of the most studied coastal systems in the world," said Jill Bieri, director of The Nature Conservancy's Virginia Coast Reserve.

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